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Indepth Arts News:

"The Korai and the Icon Diorama-cally Revealed"
2007-07-13 until 2007-08-18
Old Firehouse Art Center
Longmont, CO, USA United States of America

On July 13, 2007 the Old Firehouse Art Center in Longmont, Colorado, opened an art exhibition of work by Peggy Nichols (Los Angeles) and Ruth McCorrison (Boulder) exploring the iconic image of the feminine. "The Korai and the Icon Diorama-cally Revealed" features Oil Paintings and Pastel by Nichols and Beadwork by McCorrison. The exhibition continues until August 18th. Peggy Nichols has been a Premiere Portfolio Artist at absolutearts.com since January 2007.

Several years ago, after a long hiatus, Boulder artist Ruth McCorrison renewed her art practice with the aim of working representationally in some textile technique to explore the dialectic between pictorial fiction and textile materiality. Beadweaving's epistemic grid captured her interest. Using this technique, Ruth analyzes and dissects an image, then reconstructs it with bead-pixels. The work that results hybridizes material and metaphor to provide a self-reflexive, secondary experience of the "original" image. Yet, though rationality and dispassion may be inherent in the grid, the jewel-like preciousness and auto-illumination of the tiny glass beads, together with the small size of the work, evoke the intimacy and emotional intensity of contemporary icons.

Mannequins in their window-display shrines often serve as iconic subject matter in Ruth’s work. However, in the Icons of Modern Romance series, instead of ironizing veneration of consumerism, she pays respect to pop hits from her teenage years.

For Los Angeles artist, Peggy Nichols, the illuminated figure in the shop window represents what she believes to be a replicant of our icons, the Goddess and feminine idealism. The female image as it is presented in our culture today represents sexuality. It is often how a woman, conscious or unconsciously, navigates through a patriarchal dominated society. She is always aware of her feminine attractiveness.

Having worked on the Korai in the Modern Urbanscape series for four years, where she began with this image and her purpose for doing it is evolving. “I was out walking on a moonless night. As I crossed the street, my attention was drawn to a shop window. Behind the glass, the interior was flooded in gleaming light. I stopped in front of the window. A mannequin stood there elegantly poised. A golden halo, from the spotlights above, fell dramatically over the contours of her forehead, eye lids, the top of her cheekbones, the tiny ridge above her upper lip and the tip of her chin. It continued over her shoulders, decolletage and limbs onto the stage floor. The light radiated in an aureole around her. A timely vision encapsulated in glass.”

Inspiration can become divined and extracted from the most unexpected places. The Korai is a Greek word to describe an era of art history when artists began to depict the female form from a simplistic to a narrative of complete naturalism, becoming the communication of ideal feminine beauty. She not only represented feminine beauty to delight the Gods, she represented a new quest for interiority, for exploring the inner self. She manifests what we look for in ourselves – our perfection, and the balance of heart, mind and body. Because this phase of art (inner exploration through art) was so monumental, it has never been completely extinguished from our consciousness. The Korai stays skillfully integrated in our culture by some form or another.

View more of Peggy Nichols work in her Portfolio at absolutearts.com at: http://www.absolutearts.com/portfolios/p/peggynichols/.

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